For the first time since March of 2020, the Associated Press released a Top 25 men’s basketball poll featuring someone other than Gonzaga at the No. 1 spot.
After spending 20 consecutive weeks at the top of the AP Top 25, a run that dates back to March 18, 2020, the Bulldogs dropped two places to No. 3 after losing 84-81 to Duke last Friday in a riveting game played at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The Blue Devils, previously ranked fifth, overtook Gonzaga for No. 1 and unbeaten Purdue also hopped the Bulldogs to check in at No. 2. After edging the Bulldogs in Vegas, Duke received 51 of the first-place votes with Purdue collecting nine more and Gonzaga getting one.
Rounding out the top 10 were No. 4 Baylor, No. 5 UCLA, No. 6 Villanova, No. 7 Texas, No. 8 Kansas, No. 9 Kentucky and No. 10 Arkansas. The Bruins dropped three spots after losing 83-63 to Gonzaga in Tuesday’s Final Four rematch, also played in Las Vegas.
Gonzaga could’ve played a top-10 opponent for the fourth time this season, but Alabama, the Bulldogs’ foe at the Battle in Seattle this Saturday, tumbled six places to No. 16 in the AP poll after absorbing its first loss of the year to Iona.
Meanwhile, the West Coast Conference continues to gain momentum, with BYU rising to No. 12 in the AP Top 25. It’s the highest the Cougars (6-0) have ever been in the poll before Jan. 12. San Francisco (7-0) received seven Top 25 votes after collecting one vote a week earlier.
The Texas Tech team Gonzaga will see less than two weeks from now received 34 votes in this week’s Top 25. The Red Raiders are still unbeaten at 6-0 but have yet to play an opponent ranked inside the top 200 of Ken Pomeroy’s ratings.
Arizona, coached by former Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd, jumped six spots to No. 17 after routing Sacramento State 105-59 and improving to 6-0 on the season.
Gonzaga’s reign at the top of the AP poll ended after the program suffered its first regular season loss since Feb. 22, 2020, at No. 23 BYU. By slipping only a few spots, the Bulldogs were able to extend other streaks pertaining to the weekly poll.
They still have the longest active streak in the AP poll, at 99 consecutive weeks, and they’ve spent 62 straight weeks in the top 10, as well as 31 straight weeks in the top 5.
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